7 February 2020

Barley Wood are double silver award winners at this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards, after being recognised in the Wedding Venue of the Year and Tourism Innovation categories.

The news follows Barley Wood’s success at last year’s Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, where they scooped gold in both categories, as well as the overall ‘Winner of Winners’. As a social enterprise and part of YMCA Dulverton Group, judges were impressed with the team’s dedication to great customer service, supporting the local economy and how money from events goes back into supporting the charity.

The Wedding Venue of the Year category recognises venues which go above and beyond for their clients. Barley Wood won Silver, facing tough competition from venues across the South West with judges saying: “wow, what a venue and what a team!”

In 2019, 21 weddings were held within the Barley Wood grounds and have each been tailored to suit the couple individually, with support from the dedicated team. One couple said of Barley Wood: “We can’t put into words how incredibly lucky we feel to have had our wedding at Barley Wood.”

Barley Wood also managed to scoop Silver in the Tourism Innovation Award, which recognises innovative developments. As a social enterprise, Barley Wood operates self-sufficiently and employs apprentices to work alongside the experienced team, as well as supporting the Somerset economy by recommending local businesses and working collaboratively with the community. Judges said of Barley Wood: “A not for profit charity that innovates incredibly to make this a very special place”.

Dave Jackson, Director of Social Enterprises explained: “This award is another fantastic affirmation that Barley Wood is not only a fantastic venue, but that our continued commitment to young people and the local community has been recognised too. The team are truly dedicated to ensuring every event runs to perfection. I know they are all very proud of their achievements.”

Holly Piper, Sales and Events Manager at Barley Wood said: “As a small team at Barley Wood, we are thrilled to have achieved two silver awards at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

“Barley Wood is a beautiful setting to work in every day and with 2020 set to be another great year for us, I’m delighted to be a small part of it.”

Barley Wood was amongst a variety of other tourism businesses from across the South West to be recognised at the South West Tourism Excellence awards, which saw a massive 773 nominations this year.